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Western Red Cedar - Finishing

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Forum topic by myxology posted 10-23-2016 03:09 PM 658 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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myxology

55 posts in 1078 days


10-23-2016 03:09 PM

Getting close to finishing my first table. It’s made out of Western Red Cedar and I am just wondering… What grit sandpaper would you go to on it? What finish would you use? It’s going to be used outdoors though I’m going to try to convince them to cover it in the winter months.


6 replies so far

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2782 days


#1 posted 10-23-2016 05:04 PM

They say 150 grit is adequate. I go about 180, if only because I’m hard headed.

I’ve always used poly on my cedar projects. There is talk about adhesion problems, but my first coats are thinned at least thirty percent and the penetration is extreme. From there, I just start building.

As long as the poly is soaking in and if you want an end product that isn’t gain or lose much, if any moisture, as long as the last coat is wet and soaking in, you can keep adding.

I did a six inch slab this way and the poly soaked all the way through. Essentially, I ended up with a wood-plastic top and it hasn’t cared about humidity changes in forty years.

This way will suck up the poly and thinner, but it is a project into which went a lot of labor, and you want it well protected for decades.

Oil based poly will give you an amber tint. Most of us like it, but you are free, of course, to like what you want.

If you go with a waterborne to avoid the well known amber tint, it’s even more important to keep the surface wet, if you want penetration. Once you stop, it’s time to start thinking in terms of building coats.

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myxology

55 posts in 1078 days


#2 posted 10-23-2016 09:57 PM

Kelly, when you say thinned 30% what are you thinning that with? Denatured alcohol?

Also I have a can of wipe on poly and I’m thinking this table will use a whole can of it! Am I over exaggerating?

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OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 1948 days


#3 posted 10-23-2016 11:15 PM

I prefer penetrating oils or transparent outdoor stains on Western Red Cedar, like the oil-based, NOT the water based, formula of Olympic Maxximum.

I don’t like films on outdoor furniture, as they fail pretty ugly here in New England without a ton of work or shelter.

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BurtC

103 posts in 2968 days


#4 posted 10-24-2016 01:53 AM

Epifanes Spar Varnish. Great stuff, UV protection used on boats. I treated western red cedar Adirondack chairs with it.
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=92

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Rick Dennington

5594 posts in 3032 days


#5 posted 10-24-2016 03:41 AM

I’ve built things that go outdoors, like a table and chair, birdhouses, etc. of Red Cedar, and all I use is Marine Spar varnish….This stuff is made to use on boats, spars (mast for sails), and anything that will be subject to the elements….Yep…I agree….Keeping it covered will ensure longevity…....

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2782 days


#6 posted 10-24-2016 05:33 AM

Rather than alcohol, use turpentine, naptha, or paint thinner or mineral spirits. Unless it’s a special project, I use whatever is cheapest. For specialty, I use turpentine.


Kelly, when you say thinned 30% what are you thinning that with? Denatured alcohol?

Also I have a can of wipe on poly and I m thinking this table will use a whole can of it! Am I over exaggerating?

- myxology


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